I have a defiant, strong-willed son! I believe he even takes pride in challenging me. I love my little imp, but boy, he tries my patience!
I have been reading through The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family and have been using a number of the strategies for connecting with your adopted child.
STEPS IN DEALING WITH CHILD’S MISBEHAVIOR
- Respond to misbehavior immediately.
- Redirect to better choices.
- Practice getting it right with a do-over.
- Praise for improved behavior.
But sometimes, my son is stubborn and simply defies me. Chapter 7 discusses Dealing with Defiance! Here are some of the strategies I’ve been using from this chapter:
STEPS IN DEALING WITH CHILD’S DEFIANCE
- If your child challenges you, move closer and assert your authority while giving your child a chance for a do-over.
- Then say something like: “It is NOT okay for you to talk to me or your dad like that. You can be unhappy, but you MUST talk with respect! Now try that again, son.“
- Many times I have to give my preschool boy a choice of talking nicely or a consequence. After a few moments, he usually turns around because he knows I mean business.
- Praise him for talking respectfully. “Good choice in talking nicely!“
The Connected Child recommends: “Use the least amount of firmness and corrective effort needed to resolve a situation.”
However, sometimes, these strategies may not work, and Chapter 7 of The Connected Child discusses dealing with defiance in more detail.
To avoid a total breakdown, sometimes, I have to stay aware of my son’s “meltdown potential.”
Sometimes if he might be hungry, I realize that he isn’t capable of pulling himself together – so my first task is to get his blood sugar back up – before I deal with his defiance.
After he’s calm, then we talk about his misbehavior and even sometimes, I give him the choice of what his consequence for misbehavior should be. Funny story: One time, he decided his punishment would be “no wii for 20 months”. I told him that would be nearly two years until he could play wii again, so 2 days of no wii would be fine.